Athletic Bilbao

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Athletic Club
Full nameAthletic Club
GroundSan Mamés Stadium,
Bilbao, Spain
ChairmanAitor Elizegi
ManagerMarcelino Garciá
LeagueLa Liga
2020/21La Liga, 10th
The squad with the Copa del Rey 1903

Athletic Club, most often known in English as Athletic Bilbao, is a football club which plays in Spain.

The club formed from a merger of two football clubs ; Bilbao F.C. and Athletic Club in 1903.

Athletic Bilbao is known for only utilizing players from the historic basque territory, which includes the Basque Country in Spain and France such as the region of Navarre.

Rivalries[change | change source]

Athletic Club has three major rivalries: Real Sociedad de San Sebastian, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The Rivalry with Real Sociedad is due to the location, because both teams are from the Basque Country. The rivalry also took place because of the rule to only sign players from the basque territory, yet Real Sociedad abondoned the rule in the 1980s.

The rivalries with Real Madrid established itself because of the political circumstances. Both the Basque Country and Catalunya were had massive issues with the central goverment under Dictator Franco in Madrid, who forbid their language and traditions for a greater spanish empire. Franco heavily supported the capitals team, Real Madrid, which caused tensions with supporters of Athletic Club.

The rivalry with FC Barcelona also is a result of the Franco-era. FC Barcelona, located in Catalunya, had the same issues with the central government such as the Basque Country. As a result of this circumstance, a rivalry between the Basque Country and Catalunya happened, which translated in football. As both Athletic Club and the FC Barcelona are the most important teams of their regions, they were the protagonists for this rivalry.

Even with Spain being democratic since Franco's in 1975, both rivalries with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are still on-going.

Honours[change | change source]

National tournaments[change | change source]

Winners (8): 1929–30, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1942–43, 1955–56, 1982–83, 1983–84.
Runners-up (7): 1931–32, 1932–33, 1940–41, 1946–47, 1951–52, 1969–70, 1997–98.
Winners (23[1]): 1903, 1904, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1921, 1923, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1943, 1944, 1944–45, 1949–50, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1969, 1972–73, 1983–84.
Runners-up (13): 1905, 1906, 1913, 1920, 1942, 1948–49, 1952–53, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1976–77, 1984–85, 2008–09, 2011–12.
Winners (1): 1984*.
(* Won Copa del Rey and La Liga Runners-up (2): 1983, 2009
Winners (1): 1950.[3]
Runners-up (1): 1945

International tournaments[change | change source]

  • UEFA Europa League

Runners-up: 2011-2012

League position[change | change source]

Season League Position
2000/01 La Liga 12th
2001/02 La Liga 8th
2002/03 La Liga 7th
2003/04 La Liga 5th
2004/05 La Liga 9th
2005/06 La Liga 12th
2006/07 La Liga 17th
2007/08 La Liga 11th
2008/09 La Liga 13th

Former position[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Note:The number of Copa wins Athletic Club have been credited with is disputed. The 1902 competition was won by Bizcaya, a team made up of players from Athletic Club and Bilbao FC. In 1903 these two clubs merged as Athletic Club. The 1902 cup is on display in the Athletic museum [1] and the club includes it in its own honours list. [2]. However LFP and RFEF official statistics do not include this as an Athletic win.
  2. Note:"Eva Duarte Cup" competition was the predecessor of the current "Spanish Supercup", because they face the league champion against the champion of the "Copa del Rey".
  3. The Copa Eva Duarte was only recognized and organized with that name by the RFEF from 1947 until 1953, and therefore Athletic Bilbao's runners-up medal in the "Copa de Oro Argentina" of 1945 is not included in this count.